Why Don’t I Like Mustaches

In the 1970s, so many men had facial hair. The first time I saw a friend’s clean-shaven father, he looked almost like a woman to me.

There must be a reason why the brush of a man’s facial hair against my face makes me nauseated. But I hadn’t examined my reaction until I saw this mugshot while researching the bugbear of my childhood: The Co-Ed Killer.

I just realized that “Ed” is part of Co-Ed. My mind wants to slip away from this man and his revolting mustache.

The first time I saw his face was when I first began to research for this memoir. When I read his quote about seeing a pretty girl:

One side of me says, ‘Wow, what an attractive chick. I’d like to talk to her, date her.’ The other side of me says, ‘I wonder how her head would look on a stick?’

I closed the browser and I didn’t look him up again until I watched Mindhunter and became used to the idea.


Now let’s take a look at my father’s mustache from the same era.

Is that why?


He lived near me. The creek cut right through the center of the route. We heard of a girl who got raped while walking from my neighborhood to Rancho Del Mar. I was at a bus stop on the path to the mall early one morning when I was about 12 years old, and a man walked up very close to me and pulled out his penis. I turn my back on him and began to say, “Oh, the bus is so late. It must be coming any minute. Yes, I’m sure the bus will be here any minute.” He didn’t touch me.

Is that why?


Did my parents actually show me a picture from the newspaper as well as telling me gruesome details warning me to stay away from UC Santa Cruz? Did I imagine my father as the killer?

Were my research results really the first time I had seen Ed Kemper?


I think so.

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